Poor Students In Tamil Nadu Suffer As Government Mixes Education With Politics

 Central government is conducting Navodaya schools all over India and  it is widely recognised that the fees are lower and standard of education is reasonably good.

by N.S.Venkataraman   

The present ruling party in Tamil Nadu is unique, in that  it has made it a policy to oppose every move and decision of central government  in the guise  of protecting the interest of the Tamil population, even without caring to examine the merits of the   central government’s  stand. Further, it is   trying to interpret any move of the central government ,as if it is against the interests of the Tamil population living in the state. In short, government is exploiting Tamil language for it’s political gains. This is so obvious now that it cannot be concealed anymore.

One section of Tamil Nadu which has been severely affected by such policy of hate practiced by Tamil Nadu government against the central government is the student community in the state, particularly the  poor students in the formative age group studying in government schools. 

The Tamil Nadu government is now making so much noise opposing the NEET examination, though  considerable  section of the population in the state recognise that NEET is a non  issue. The fear psychosis being created  by the state government,  that the poor students particularly living in rural areas  would be adversely affected due to NEET examination by being denied admission in medical colleges,  has been proved wrong , as several students from poor families and rural areas have passed NEET examination and got admission in medical colleges. But, the ruling party is ignoring this ground reality as it does not benefit it’s political objective.

Now, the latest weapon that the Tamil Nadu government has taken is to oppose the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) ,  that is being conducted by central government for admission of students to central universities.  The fact is that   there is only one central university in Tamil Nadu which has been conducting  such examination for the last several years.  Students writing this examination from Tamil Nadu can also get admission in other states.  How is the interest of Tamil Nadu students  affected by this?  Such opposition of Tamil Nadu government is not based on any reasoning  but it is only to spite the central government.

Central government is conducting Navodaya schools all over India and  it is widely recognised that the fees are lower and standard of education is reasonably good. But, Tamil Nadu government would not permit Navodaya schools in the state because it is the central government project and three language formula is adopted.

Tamil Nadu government is obsessed with two language formula , which mean that only Tamil and English language  would be taught in the government schools.  Tamil Nadu government is  vehemently opposing the new education policy of the central government,  which involves  three language formula, with one being the mother tongue, the other being English and third  one being any language as per the choice of the student.

Tamil Nadu government is insisting on two language policy , thinking that this would prevent students in the state from learning Hindi.  The students studying in the government schools are severely affected by the two language formula, as they do not have the opportunity to learn a third language like Hindi , which would enable them to take up jobs outside Tamil Nadu.

There are now 37579 government schools ion Tamil Nadu  where mostly the poor students study. At present, 1,28,55,485  students study in the government schools. These poor students are mostly affected by this policy.

While the students in government schools cannot learn Hindi, the students in the private schools which are 12382 in Tamil Nadu have the opportunity to learn Hindi and CBSE schools also have three language formula. Further, while the poor students cannot afford to get  Hindi language proficiency by attending classes outside the school, the students belonging to middle and upper income group learn Hindi even if their schools would not teach them.

What is extremely disturbing is that while lakhs of poor students studying in the government schools are denied the opportunity to  learn Hindi, the sons , daughters, relatives of ministers, bureaucrats and government officials do not send their children to government schools but only to private schools,  where three language formula is adopted. Even  more shocking fact is that several ruling party men and relatives of ministers own schools where three language formula is followed.

Another recent counter productive move of the Tamil Nadu government is to appoint vice chancellors directly by the government  and withdrawing the powers of the state governor to function as chancellor and select vice chancellors.  Before the present Governor assumed office in Tamil Nadu, there were many allegations of  vice chancellors being appointed by demanding bribes by the ruling party men and unbending vice chancellors being forced to face  false charges so that they would be humiliated.

Government schools in Tamil Nadu are poorly managed  with standards of education imparted to the students remaining unsatisfactory. We often hear about government school teachers going on strike and that some male teachers even misbehave with the girl students. Even disturbing news appear in the media of some teachers coming  to the government school in drunken conditions.

 Instead of reforming the government schools and helping the poor students to  get quality education and improve their prospects , Tamil Nadu government is playing politics in the field of education.

Ruling party in Tamil Nadu appears to have vicarious view that any one who love Tamil language should simultaneously hate Hindi language. The ruling party’s pre occupation with hate feelings against Hindi and central government will have the ultimate effect of harming the interest of the poor students in the state and driving  the state of Tamil Nadu education towards a bottom less pit. 

What is noteworthy is that whether it is about opposing  the NEET exam or CUET exam  or three language formula , no state in the country adopts  negative stand as Tamil Nadu government is now doing.

It is already seen that many poor students from Tamil Nadu  are unable to compete at  All India level   for jobs and  they are forced to isolate themselves within the state.

Tamil Nadu government’s approach to the field of education in the state is like cutting the nose to spite the face.

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